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BC police watchdog investigating death of First Nation woman found dead off Hwy 16

The provincial police watchdog is investigating the death of a woman near Vanderhoof.

A release issued on Wednesday says the Independent Investigation Office (IIO) was notified on Nov. 26 of concerns regarding police response to a request for a wellness check for a woman on the Saik’uz First Nation.

According to the IIO, Vanderhoof RCMP responded to the call on Oct. 11 but were unable to locate the affected person at the time.

Although the IIO does not identify the woman in this case, as is normal under these types of investigations, 29-year-old Chelsey Quaw was reported missing from the area on the same date.

<who> Photo Credit Courtesy of Carrier Sekani Family Services

On Nov. 5, the woman that was subject of the wellness check was found dead “within one kilometre of the same residence,” says the IIO.

According to the release, an investigation was started after the IIO was notified of the incident on Nov. 26, three weeks after Quaw’s remains were found in a wooded area on the First Nation.

“Initial investigative steps will seek to confirm details leading up to the woman’s death as well as what, if any, role police actions or inaction may have played in the incident,” says the IIO.

The BC Coroners Service is also looking into the cause of the woman’s death and no information is expected to be released by either agency until their investigations conclude.



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